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What Is Stress?

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By now, almost every single human being on planet Earth should know that there is a link between stress and health. If it isn’t obvious, it has been spoken about at length, and there are plenty of books, films and videos on the subject. But what exactly does stress do to the body, and what exactly is stress?

Stress is how the body responds to demands. These could be demands or pressures of any kind and can be found in both positive and negative areas of life. When we are stressed, or feel pressured by something, our bodies release chemicals which trickle into our bloodstream. On some occasions, these chemicals help create adrenaline, and people find themselves performing better due to having more energy as a result of adrenaline. This is why some people at work ‘might perform better under pressure’. It can also be a huge negative, though – when adrenaline is created due to emotional stress, there can be no outlet for the adrenaline which then can lead to feelings of extreme anxiety.

What causes this stress, then? Identifying the causes of stress is a great way to find out how you can deal with the stress. Well, it comes from a lot of different areas. Physical stress is a fear of threat in a physical manner – like violence or crime. Emotional stress comes in the form of worries and pressure. Humans in most circumstances don’t have to worry about survival stress – where the threat of violence or death causes extreme stress. We might find internal stress a lot more common. This is when we worry for no reason and create all kinds of stress and panic ourselves that may or may not actually exist, or when we fear things out of our control. Our environment can cause stress due to pressure, work or other things and of course, we can suffer from being overworked. When we are pushed too hard or fail to manage our time and rest, we can build up a lot of stress.

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In the modern day, a lot of this can come from the workplace. We can suffer emotional stress because of the internal stress we make while worrying, the environmental stress that we may suffer from because of pressures at work and the stress created by a lack of rest. All these three can combine for a nasty cocktail! It’s so easy to stack causes of stress and suffer more than ever. Stress can lead to heart disease and other ailments, it’s a big deal.

So how do we defeat stress? Well we identify the causes first and then work to change or cope. To change, we need to change our situation through our own methods or legal means. To cope, we need to adjust how we feel about the situation. It is easier said than done, though.

Stress can be a killer through it’s boosting of mental illnesses and the catalyst it provides to ailments such as stroke and high blood pressure. Take it seriously and learn to relax a little to avoid it.

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